When your kitchen starts to look a bit worse for wear, with scratched cupboard fronts, broken handles, and damaged appliances, you’ll soon start contemplating your options. Should you replace a few of the worst items or go for a complete, new kitchen? This is essentially the difference between a fitted and an unfitted kitchen. Learn more about both options, to make an informed choice about what would work best for you.
What is a Fitted Kitchen?
A fitted kitchen is one in which all the units are assembled and ready to fix to the wall and/or floor. Generally, fitted kitchen designs are planned according to the space available, with units being mapped out in a blueprint. The kitchen designer and fitter will usually work together with the buyer of the kitchen, to create a plan that is made to measure and suits the buyer’s needs.
Fitted kitchen designs not only include units of cupboards, but also appliances such as the sink, cooker, and fridge. It may be possible to integrate some of these into the units behind cupboard fronts, which is an increasingly popular choice, or they can simply sit alongside cupboards below the kitchen worktop.
Working with a kitchen designer, fitted kitchens are almost always bespoke. Learn more about the fitted kitchens we supply at KNB (Midlands) Ltd.
Fitted Kitchens vs Unfitted Kitchens
In contrast to a fitted kitchen, unfitted kitchens are those made up of standalone elements. An unfitted kitchen is likely to have many different components, such as:
- Cupboard fronts bought separately to the cupboard structures
- Kitchen worktop(s)
Many homes start with a fitted kitchen, but as the years go by and different components get replaced, eventually an unfitted kitchen is built.
Benefits of Fitted Kitchens
There are a great many benefits of opting for a fitted kitchen, from their sleek and cohesive appearance to the reassurance of having it perfectly designed to function. We take a closer look at some of the advantages of fitted kitchens.
Working with a kitchen designer, each customer can rest assured that the design created is completely bespoke. The plan will be made according to the measurements of the kitchen and the location of pipes and electric points. This means that no two kitchens will be the same, even if similar designs are chosen. This is evident in the collection of KNB kitchens we have fitted in the past.
One of the chief advantages of choosing a fitted kitchen is the attractive appearance they have. Perfectly designed according to taste, you can make sure the cupboards match – or mismatch if preferred – and they will be expertly fit to align neatly with the rest of the kitchen. This means appliances, windows, doors, and flooring will all sit correctly, creating a sleek and seamless look
Usually, choosing a fitted kitchen means the fitting itself will be taken care of by the provider. It’s important to confirm either way at the point of purchase – so you’re not left with a nasty surprise when the kitchen gets delivered! – but with expert fitters comes added reassurance. Unlike with an unfitted kitchen, which will be put in place one component at a time, a fitted kitchen will be methodically planned out, so that every piece appears, and functions as planned.
Even though at first glance fitted kitchens can seem like a considerable investment, ultimately, they are usually the cheaper option. This is because it is more economical to have all parts of a kitchen bought and fit in one go, rather than having to spend smaller amounts regularly. When parts of an unfitted kitchen are put in place one at a time, problems are often encountered when it comes to replacing the next part. An example of this is that it is common to find that cabinet fronts don’t quite fit against the existing worktop.
Benefits of Unfitted Kitchens
While fitted kitchens have a number of benefits that we feel make them the superior choice, unfitted kitchens do have their merits. Read on to find out when and why an unfitted kitchen could be recommended.
Ideal for a Quick Fix
One helpful aspect of choosing a component of an unfitted kitchen is that it can solve a problem at short notice. For example, if something gets damaged or broken right before the kitchen is urgently needed – whether you’re hosting guests or showing your home to a potential buyer. It might be necessary to fit a kitchen part, whether this is a new appliance or a new cupboard front, so that the kitchen is in a fit state for use. It’s worth noting, however, that the component may still need replacing with a like-for-like part, from the original kitchen supplier.
Cheaper in The Short Term
Similarly, opting for some unfitted kitchen parts is a cheaper choice in the short term. This is especially so if you don’t mind using second hand, or ex-display/sale items. As long as you are not worried about achieving a neat and sleek look and accept that there may be some inconsistencies in style, and gaps between the different components, then an unfitted kitchen can be the preferred choice. Some people do prefer this alternative, almost retro look for their kitchen.
Choosing a Fitted Kitchen
One of the beauties of opting for a fitted kitchen is the array of choices there are. Whether you’d like a modern kitchen or a traditional kitchen, there are so many options to consider from cabinet style and colour to appliance functions.
When it comes to choosing your fitted kitchen, the best advice is to speak to expert kitchen fitters to discuss exactly what you want to achieve. Then it will be possible to come up with a design together that offers as much as you’d like. Things to consider include:
- Cabinet colours
- Worktop material
- Integration of appliances (behind cabinet doors, or elevated between cupboards)
- Types of appliances (sizes, style, functions, etc)
- Shape of the kitchen (there may be space for an island)
- Location of electrics and plumbing points
You should also consider the size of the kitchen early on, because there are certain design ideas for small kitchens that may not work well in a large one, and vice-versa.
For further advice about choosing a fitted kitchen, please get in touch with our experienced team. We will be able to direct you toward the kitchen of your dreams.